Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Picnic hotspots for every occasion

By:Nikki BayleyThu 19 May, 2011 09:30 AM UTC
Whether you're planning a simple snack out on a country walk or have plans for a more organised family outing, there are amazing picnic spots across the UK which caters to absolutely every occasion. Here's a round-up of some of our favourites – just don't forget to pack a little extra everything, there's something about eating outside that really gives you an appetite!
Inner-city picnic
Picnics don't always have to be in the countryside – you can just as easily settle down to a little alfresco action in the heart of the city. London is blessed with many green spaces, but if you want a true urban picnic experience make for the South Bank and find yourself a bench or little spot of green to enjoy your meal. There's almost always some kind of entertainment from buskers to exhibitions and kids will love to cool down in the fountains.
South Bank Centre
All-round family entertainment
Kids of all ages will adore Corfe Castle's model village in Purbeck, Dorset, on the stunning Jurassic coast. The model village is great, incredibly detailed and lots of fun to walk around. You can then shift focus from little to big and play with some of the 'giant' games in the gardens. There's also a miniature museum, croquet lawn and quite adorable 'Enchanted Fair Corner'. Bring a blanket and enjoy your picnic in the gardens.
Corfe Castle Model Village
Picnic by the water
Be dazzled by the watery wonders of nature at England's highest waterfall, High Force, at Upper Teesdale in the North Pennines. The water gushes down a dramatic 21m drop which you can watch from the woodland walk area. You can either sit on one of the many picnic benches, or curl up on the grass on a blanket. If you want to make a day of your outing, head to nearby Raby Castle – a fantastic medieval castle which is open seasonally from the end of April through till September.
North Pennines
Make sure that no-one is left out at Drum Manor Forest Park in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, where they have wheelchair-accessible trails around the stunning grounds. Work up an appetite exploring the Japanese garden, butterfly and shrub areas and the lovely arboretum, before tucking into a feast in the woodlands. Perfect!
Discover Northern Ireland
Tray a picnic under the palms
Cornwall seems to boast more than its fair share of hidden treasures, and Trebah Garden is a real gem. The gardens benefit from the sub-tropical climate so you'll see bamboo plants and palms amongst the hydrangeas and rhododendrons. You can choose whether to picnic under the palms or on the private beach where you can have a scoop of Hokey-Pokey ice cream for pudding. Blankets, buckets and spades are all provided free of charge.
Trebah Garden
Ultimate posh picnic
Forget a simple sandwich and a flask of tea – over in West Sussex they picnic in style, and so can you if you stay at Ockenden Manor in Cuckfield, where they offer a Picnic in the Park package. Your driver will drop you off in the South Downs National Park, almost 1.600 square km of ancient woodlands, rolling pastures, bluebell woods and wildflower meadows. Follow a scenic route and you'll be met halfway by your very own private butler who will serve up a superb picnic with freshly baked goodies and wine. No need to walk back, your driver will meet you at the other end... Oh, why aren't all picnics that fabulous!
Pride of Britain Hotels
Picnic around the world
Take a tour around the world on a picnic with an international theme at Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire. The grounds of the house were created by a Victorian who travelled the globe, and came back inspired. So you can work up an appetite by exploring a Chinese-inspired garden, a Himalayan glen, and Egyptian pyramid and even an Italian terrace!
National Trust - Biddulph Grange Garden
Picnic with the stars...
...Or at least where the stars were! Lacock Abbey and its village in Wiltshire will probably look familiar as it's starred in so many films and TV shows from 'Harry Potter' to 'Cranford'. Stars from the big and small screens alike have clattered down the cloisters (where Harry Potter frees Dobby!) so make sure you take your camera to recreate your favourite scenes before settling down for a picnic in the gorgeous grounds.
National Trust - Lacock Abbey

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